Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2007

Capstone Advisor

Lorraine Herbst

Honors Reader

Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Capstone Major

Women's and Gender Studies

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies

Abstract

The state of Kashmir is positioned betweenIndia,PakistanandChina. The region has been the site of four wars since 1947 in the name of claiming a nation. There is an ongoing ethnic and religious battle betweenIndia(Hindu majority) andPakistan(Muslim majority) over who can claim the state ofKashmir. As part of this battle, the people ofKashmirhave been deeply affected as targets of militancy. In particular, Kashmiri Pandit women, those who are religiously rooted as Hindus, have seen violence and trauma as Muslim militant forces have invaded women’s “homes” inside the state and within their physical “homes” to inflict violence in the name of the “nation.”

This thesis will look at the meaning of “home”. Herstories of three Pandit Kashmiri women in the post-partition era will be examined. Their voices and experiences demonstrate how nationalisms, masculinity and sexual violence have created a (dis)appearance of “home” in the making of a nation. In addition, other important themes and issues arose during the research for this project. These include both the loss of belonging and feelings of longing for many displaced Pandit women fromKashmir. Further, examinations of how the Kashmiri Pandit diaspora has begun constructing a new identity as a result of displacement are important. How does the scattering of a group of people with a shared history and culture contribute to new identities away from a “home”land? Diaspora has had profound effects on how women relate to their territorial “home” ofKashmir, and this thesis investigates how diaspora and new or reconfigured identities influence women’s “homes.”

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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